Birth control is everyone’s affair


May 31, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Forgive us for doubting, but when a major employer says it has a “conscience-based objection” to having its insurance plan include  contraception, we think it has conveniently found religion.
 But Donald Trump is a believer and on May 4 directed staff at the Office of Management and Budget to pursue avenues of eliminating the benefit mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
Most women are at risk of getting pregnant for 30-plus years — from their teenage years to when they reach menopause. For those wanting to avoid unintended pregnancies, contraceptives are the most reliable and convenient means.
Today, birth control comes in many forms, including pills, patches, implants, IUDs, sponges and even shots. Widespread birth control is the number one reason the abortion rate in the United States continues to decline.
But birth control is not without costs, which is why some employers and insurers are looking for ways to skirt the coverage. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” corporations who maintain birth control violates their religious ethics and, thus, can be exempted from the mandate.
On average, birth control costs $50 a month in addition to visits to a physician. Proponents of the coverage say the insurance saved American women $1.4 billion in 2013 alone. With insurance, the birth control pill, for example, is $5 a month. Without insurance, it’s at least 10 times that.
Birth control is considered a preventative health measure because it keeps teenagers from becoming parents; it helps prevent abortions; it helps a woman manage her menstruation cycles; and it helps families dictate their size.
Scrapping the requirement for insurers and employers to cover birth control expenses not only punishes women for simply being female but also is a detriment to society as a whole.

— Susan Lynn

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